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Street art in Florence, Blub and Me

The first time I arrived in Florence, the capital of Renaissance and the city stigmatised with Stendhal syndrome, I was shocked for its lack of Street Art. There were bombs and tags here and there, some stickers from visitors, but in November 2012 the only consistent 'street art' that was sticking out were Street Poets Society and Clet. It is interesting to note, that this spring is the first time that the streets of Amsterdam got covered in A4, neatly numbered, printed and stamped - in English (for the first time I see them like this) and in some cases Italian translations.

From that time on until mid 2017 I have regularly visited Florence for personal reasons which eventually turned into the research trips. I have found out by than that CLET is a French artist who has a studio and produces stickers. He is almost legal in Florence and surrounding regions and you can find him on the most secluded country roads, despite occasional tension with the municipality. We became acquainted. But it still felt like a chosen few.

It is true, that there was always Le Curie tunnel, but the pieces like everywhere in a legal spot cases got painted over rather quickly. And although the kaleidoscope of graffiti art is quite rich, 3 hours is more than enough to spend there. And then, around 2013-2014 popped up new shy yet distinctive characters such as Hoppn, Exit/Enter and Blub.

I was excited like a kid about my next trip, because I knew that as they guys get more confident, more works will pop up and I can look for them. By 2015, there was the first documentary by Julien Vannuchi as part of his university project on the phenomenon of Street Art in the Contemporary Florence. I was fortunate enough to meet him and get more closely engaged with the growing young bottom up movement that later got focused around Street Levels Gallery. The latter organisation is a wonderful example of a collaboration between individuals and collectives such as Progeas Family.

Therefore it was more than serendipity, it was a natural conclusion that SAMA had hosted the Florentinian connection as part of Matteo Bedini's internship in 2017.

During Matteo's stay at SAMA we have been privileged to meet Guerilla Spam, Exit/Enter, Hoppn, Method Prod, PUPO, but what we had not expected is that one day SAMA would meet members of BLUB crew. Result!

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